As many may know, I became sports editor of The Daily Citizen a few weeks back. I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce myself.
I currently live in Lonoke with my 13-year-old adopted Chinese daughter, Mary Elisabeth. My wife, Linda, and I adopted Emmy in September 2009. Unfortunately, Linda died after a short battle with endometrial cancer in December last year. She and I were married for 21 years when she left us.
I have been a newspaper journalist since 1995 when I was hired a reporter for the former Magie Enterprises newspapers in Cabot, Lonoke and Carlisle. I was the sports editor for those newspapers from October 1997 until June 2014, when I made a career change and went to work for the statewide newspaper.
While there, I got to work some really good people in the Searcy and White County area. I knew it was a place that I could see myself working with on a regular basis.
I took a career change in November 2019, going into retail management. Linda was planning on retiring from teaching after 37 years in the Lonoke School District. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work in something that I enjoyed but was never really comfortable with.
When Linda took a turn for the worse in November, I left my job in retail to care for her. While doing that, I continued to freelance for several area papers, including The Daily Citizen and the Grand Prairie Herald in Hazen. While working in retail, I never completely left my roots behind because I’ve always been a journalist at heart.
After shooting photos for The Daily Citizen when Harding Academy won the Class 3A state championship in December, I talked to Batesville Guard General Manager Bruce Guthrie, The Daily Citizen‘s former sports editor, about a job opportunity to become sports editor. After talking it over with my family, I decided to take a leap of faith and get back into the game so to speak.
I’ve made many good friends in the newspaper business. Since we were in the middle of high school basketball season, I was kind of blessed by that. With the three Searcy high schools, I considered four of the six coaches to be very good friends. In fact, I text all of them just to gauge what they thought about me coming back into the newspaper business. Needless to say, I got a good response.
I’ve been a sports fan all my life. I grew up a Dallas Cowboys, Lakers and Dodgers fan. Of course, I loved the Razorbacks. I loved them so much, I was in the University of Arkansas Marching Band for five years and was able to attend two Final Fours, including 1994 when the Hogs beat Duke to win the NCAA championship.
I really appreciate everyone who has welcomed me to Searcy. I really appreciate Bruce, who is a longtime friend in the business, for alerting me about this opportunity. I want to thank Daily Citizen editor Steve Watts for taking a chance on me as well. I previously worked with Steve with Magie Enterprises.
I’ll be using this space on occasion to give some insight into what I think about the sporting world as well as highlighting the accomplishments of the student-athletes and coaches in the area. During my time covering the Cabot Panthers, Lonoke Jackrabbits and Carlisle Bison, I always had an emotional attachment to those teams. And I love following along with the former athletes as they enter the “real world.” I’m looking forward to doing that with our kids in White County.
If anyone has any story ideas for Searcy or White County, please give me a holler. I can be reached at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you all.